Thursday, 20 April 2023
FSC International Board Meets in US
In March 2023, the FSC International Board of Directors held a weeklong meeting in Seattle, WA. In addition to regular board business, the goal of the meeting was to better understand the opportunities and challenges facing FSC in the United States.
In addition to a stakeholder reception in Seattle, a highlight of the week was a forest and mill tour held on March 23rd. The tour started at Rainier Veneer in Spanaway, WA, as log buyer Tyler Karnes described their business and the market for FSC products specifically. With ample FSC-certified forest in a 50-mile radius – including the Tacoma watershed and Washington State Department of Natural Resources – Karnes talked about their strategies for managing FSC certification, as well as their ability to sell more FSC veneer. He offered a valuable perspective on chain-of-custody certification, including both the value it brings as well as the challenges associated with maintaining certification.
The next stop on the tour was O’Neill Pine Company’s forest in Lewis County, WA, where Debra and Richard Pine shared their perspectives as forest managers. A member of Northwest Natural Resource Group’s FSC group certificate, O’Neill Pine is a family-owned company that has been FSC-certified since 2000. Managing for Douglas fir, western red cedar, and valley ponderosa pine, Debra and Richard described how FSC aligns with their values. “We believe we are responsible for the land,” they noted. Nonetheless, they also highlighted challenges associated with selling their FSC logs, with uncertified buyers from larger mills able to pay more than certified buyers from smaller operations.
In addition to offering valuable input to the board, the tour also afforded an excellent opportunity for the FSC US Board of Directors – many of whom were present – to engage directly with the FSC International Board of Directors and staff. As the largest market in the world, the United States offers vast potential for FSC growth and development. By investing the time and resources to meet in Seattle, FSC International demonstrated its commitment to success in the US. Across the week, new ideas were developed and the conversations continue to seize the opportunities to advance forest stewardship and the FSC mission.